I have been using Kagi as my search engine with great results for the past couple of months. I do occasionally use Google and still have the bookmark on the toolbar, so it’s easy to get to. Today, muscle memory kicked in, and I clicked on Google accidentally instead of Kagi and didn’t notice I did that until the results came up.
What I saw was just another thing to add to the annoyance of all the irrelevant stuff you have to scroll through to get to the actual web results. It’s not all that different from the design of apps or any web pages that try to be apps. They give you loads of pointless shit to scroll through to keep you engaged with the bare minimum of what you’re actually looking for.
I Googled whether Lemmy is available on FreeBSD under the ports tree. I’m thinking it might be interesting to check it out and see if it’s fun to run my own personal instance. The results were relevant to Lemmy at least, but had nothing to do with FreeBSD. It’s bad enough to have to sift through ads and slip through on Ublock and the sticky headers and menus that pollute most web pages now. Usually, they also have the cookie pop-up, and often times another one to sign up with my email. They are often loaded with relevant but at least partially inaccurate text. I wish Google was like the old Google, where they’d penalize sites for this sort of behavior, but those days are long gone.
It was annoying that the top results were for videos. They were YouTube videos, of course, so Google could get the ad views. The last thing I want to do is try to figure out where in a video the pertinent information is. At least I can skim text, but with video, it’s linear in nature. Most of those types of videos that are optimized to show up near the top are too full of fluff and filler to make them long enough for YouTube to “like” it.
They’ve had a separate video search for years. If I wanted to search for videos, I’d click on that. I’m also smart enough to realize that I’m not the customer, but I’m the product. The more time I scroll around on Google, the more engage points marketing gets. If I click on something irrelevant and go back, that’s more engagement. That gives them more ad views and more information to gather on me to build their database.
Google and their ads and trackers are like a poison that’s leached into nearly everything on the web. It’s like a fungal mycelium reaching into everything that’s good to eat away at it.
It could be some sort of A/B test which are so popular these days. It seems that all the big sites show different versions two different accounts or people or whatnot. This is an annoying thing. There’s been times when Molly and I weren’t understanding each other trying to explain something from a site to each other because they’re different.